Memory: She's Dying to Remember by Christoph Marzi
|Memory: She's Dying to Remember by Christoph Marzi|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Urban ghost story and paranormal thriller set in London among the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries. Loved the concept. Loved the characters. Loved the plot. So there!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: August 2013|
Jude can see the dead. His life has changed immeasurably since he saw his first ghost about six months ago. He's lost interest at school and become even further distanced from his father, who works away a lot. Instead, he spends most of his time in Highgate Cemetery with the shapeshifting vixen Miss Rathbone and a circle of dead people headed by ex-rock star Gaskell. Jude feels more at home with ghosts than he does with the living.
At a party in the cemetery one night, Jude finds a strange but beautiful girl sitting on a bench. The girl can't remember anything about herself or how she came to be there. Jude takes her to Gaskell and Miss Rathbone, who promise to help and who dub the girl Story - because she has no story. But Story's memories gradually begin to resurface and the group come to a horrible realisation. Story is not dead. But she is close to death. She's lying in a coma somewhere and the real Story takes a step closer to death with each memory that comes to her ghostly double.
Can Jude and the others save Story? And can they save all the ghosts from the Faceless Ones who seem to be behind all the awful things going on?
Oh. Let me let out a sigh of satisfaction. I thought Memory was great. Firstly, it's set in London amid the "Magnificent Seven" Victorian cemeteries, and most specifically in the famous Highgate Cemetery, where so many great artists, writers and musicians are buried. What better place to set a ghost story? The whole book brings a London I recognise to life - and death! - in a truly vivid way.
I loved the concept of a ghost-but-not-ghost whose real self gets closer and closer to death, each time a fresh memory comes to her ghostly counterpart. I loved the characters - not just the mysterious Story and the slightly dislocated but courageous Jude but also the supporting cast of ghosts and shapechangers. And the plot is great - plenty of twists and turns but always focused. And the whole thing just has a different flavour to many of the urban paranormal books on the shelves. Perhaps it's because we have a German author writing about a British setting or perhaps it's the European attitudes to parenting, education and dating - I don't know. But I do know that Memory feels tremendously fresh.
In fact, I don't have a bad word to say about this story. Not a single nitpick. It was a fabulous read. You should read it too. So there!
You might also enjoy Heaven also by Marzi, which is also set in London but features faeries, not ghosts. Or there's Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, a chilling ghost story set in the stark, desolate environment of the Arctic.
You can read more book reviews or buy Memory: She's Dying to Remember by Christoph Marzi at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Memory: She's Dying to Remember by Christoph Marzi at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.